Monday, 3 October 2016

CYPRUS: August, Best Tourist Arrivals

Mediterranean holiday island Cyprus recorded its best ever August when arrivals jumped nearly 17 per cent to reach more than 458,000 visitors during the peak season, official data showed Monday.

"August 2016 had the highest volume of tourist arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during the specific month," the finance ministry said.

In a clear indication that the economy is on an upward curve, August marked a 16.9-per cent hike in tourist arrivals compared to the same month in 2015.

Only July saw more tourists for a single month with a record 482,000 arrivals.

Tourists from Britain the island's top holiday market increased 9.9 per cent in August to 172,236, while the second largest market Russia jumped 36.8 per cent to 122,843.

There was also a 61 per cent increase in holidaymakers from Israel, with 27,048 arrivals.

For the first six months until June, revenue from tourism increased 13.7 per cent to 831.2 million euros ($928 million),up from 730.9 million in the same period of 2015.

With the island seen as a "safe" destination in a region of turmoil and terror threats, state-run Cyprus Tourism organisation projects a bumper tourist season that could surpass the three-million barrier this year.

Cyprus exited a harsh bailout programme in March garnering praise from international lenders for its impressive turnaround.

Tourism revenues account for around 12 per cent of the EU state's GDP and are credited for ensuring that Nicosia made a relatively quick recovery.

Following a 10-billion-euro rescue package to save a crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013, Cyprus has returned to growth.